In 2020, at a resort in San Antonio, a Model S owner had their car damaged by a valet who wanted to test out Cheetah mode. The joyride did not end well for this valet who crashed the car into a concrete wall, which was captured on the car’s dash cam.
Many luxury carmakers have invented ways to prevent a valet from damaging the car or accessing personal data. Some carmakers introduced valet keys that could limit top speed, reduce acceleration and lock the glove box. Although these features improved the safety and privacy of the car, the physical keys were impractical because they could be stolen or lost. Valet keys have been outdated since Chevrolet introduced virtual Valet Mode in 2014.
Tesla also implemented a Valet Mode of its own that improves upon the safety and privacy features of the valet key. Tesla's Valet Mode is a feature that prevents valets from driving recklessly and having access to the owner's personal information. Tesla introduced the feature in 2015 as part of an over-the-air software update.
Tesla's Valet Mode
Everything Valet Mode Does
When Valet Mode is activated, Tesla’s operating system restricts some of the car's functionality. Valet Mode will limit the car's maximum speed to 70 mph, reduce acceleration by about 50 percent and disable the use of autopilot.
In addition to these safety features, the security and privacy features include the automatic locking of the glove box and frunk. Valet Mode also keeps the user's information private by blocking certain personal information from appearing on the display screen. This keeps information such as addresses, contacts and schedules completely private. Valet Mode also disables Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and navigation functionality.
Valet Mode Restrictions
Valet Mode restrictions the following features:
Speed limited to 70 mph
Acceleration restricted to “Chill”
The front trunk and glove box will lock, the trunk will remain accessible
Voice commands are disabled
Navigation is disabled so that it does not allow access to recent destinations, favorites or home and work addresses
Autopilot/FSD is disabled
Allow Mobile Access setting cannot be changed
HomeLink (if applicable) is not available
Driver profiles are not available
The touchscreen will not display the list of keys that can access the car
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are disabled, and you cannot view or add a new device
Sentry Mode options can’t be changed (if Sentry Mode is on, it can’t be turned off)
Smart summon is disabled
Calendar is not available
The Upgrades section in Controls > Upgrades is disabled
There are a few other features that are inaccessible while Valet Mode is enabled. The most obvious of which is Ludicrous Mode, which allows the driver to access the full acceleration power of the Tesla.
This mode is only available for some performance models. Smart Summon is also inaccessible while in Valet Mode. However, if your Tesla is parked in Valet Mode, you can disable Valet Mode from the mobile app, and proceed to Smart Summon your car.
Although Tesla limits many features while the vehicle is in Valet Mode to protect your privacy and your vehicle, it does not limit the ability to charge.
This can be useful when you visit a valet location with chargers on site. The valet can plug your Tesla in to charge while it is parked.
Although the speed limit for Valet Mode defaults to 70 mph, you can customize it to your preference using "Speed Limit Mode". The speed limit can be set in safety settings by turning on the Speed Limit Mode and creating a 4-digit PIN.
By turning on Speed Limit Mode, you can set a custom maximum speed that cannot be changed without your PIN. You can set the maximum speed in the car or in the Security section of the Tesla app.
How to Turn On Valet Mode
Valet Mode can be activated from within the vehicle and through the mobile app. To activate it from within the car, tap your profile name on the display screen. A drop-down menu will appear, select the last tab labeled “Valet Mode.” you will be prompted to enter a four-digit PIN the first time you enable Valet Mode. Once the PIN is entered, the screen will display that Valet Mode has been enabled. You can also use the mobile app to turn Valet Mode on and off, assuming the vehicle is parked, by clicking ”Security” and then “Valet Mode”.
PIN to Drive
If you use PIN to Drive, an additional security feature that requires you to enter a valid PIN code to start the car, this feature is disabled while the car is in Valet Mode. Once you start Valet Mode, you’ll be prompted to enter your PIN to Drive code. This code will be saved and will not require the valet driver to enter a PIN to start the car.
Valet Mode can also come in handy when letting a teen drive to prevent them from speeding or using functionality that could be dangerous for a new driver, such as using the car’s full acceleration or using Autopilot. None of the Tesla’s safety features are disabled while in Valet Mode.
If you prefer, you can just enable Speed Limit Mode so that they can still access navigation, music, and other features.
Teslas are fun cars to drive and some people may be tempted to test the car’s instant torque, fast acceleration and amazing Autopilot capabilities, but these features should be used with permission.
Since Teslas are capable of high speed and fast acceleration, Valet Mode is an advisable feature to use. The higher performance of a car, the greater the risk of an accident when left in the hands of a valet driver.
Tesla owners can have peace of mind knowing that Valet Mode can prevent speeding and reckless driving and protect their privacy when someone else is behind the wheel.
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Tesla reveals how many miles have been driven on FSD Beta as of January 2023
Tesla's Full Self Driving (FSD) technology took a giant leap forward in distributing FSD Beta to 400,000 customers in North America. It is a significant milestone for the development of autonomous driving and highlights Tesla's commitment to bringing this cutting-edge technology to the masses. A new version, v11.3 could roll out any day.
Number of Testers Over Time
Tesla made FSD Beta public a little more than two years ago, around October 2020. It was initially only made available to less than a handful of testers, but that pool grew to about 1,000 users later that year.
Since then Tesla has gradually increased the number of testers. The ramp from the initial 1,000 testers took some time, but by October 2021 Tesla had opened it up further through its Safety Score program. By January 2022, it was available to about 60,000 owners.
In March of 2022, Tesla expanded FSD Beta to Canada, gradually adding additional testers, and eventually increasing the number of testers across the U.S. and Canada to 160,000 in September.
Tesla announced this December that the number of testers had grown to 285,000 and recently said this January that it's now accessible to 400,000 Tesla owners.
FSD Beta Expansion and Milestones
Opened to select testers
~ 1,000 added
Start of expansion through Safety Score
Available to 60,000 testers
Expansion to Canada
Available to 160,000 testers
Available to 285,000 testers
Access given to 400,000 owners
The deployment of FSD Beta to such a large number of customers will provide an unprecedented level of testing and feedback, allowing Tesla to refine the technology and bring it to an even higher level of reliability and safety. Furthermore, with over 90 million miles driven on FSD outside of highways, the published data shows a clear improvement in safety statistics, demonstrating the potential for autonomous driving to revolutionize the way we travel.
This increased testing level will help improve the technology even further, as the system can learn from a broader range of driving scenarios and road conditions.
FSD Will Make the Roads Safer
The safety benefits of Full Self Driving technology will be a major selling point for Tesla and one of the primary reasons for its rapid growth. Using cameras and other advanced technologies, FSD can monitor the road and make real-time adjustments to ensure the vehicle operates safely and efficiently. As a result, this technology reduces the likelihood of accidents and provides passengers with a safer, more comfortable driving experience.
Overall, making FSD Beta available to 400,000 customers represents a major step forward for Tesla and the entire autonomous driving industry. It's now available to all customers who have purchased or subscribed to FSD in the U.S. and Canada. The next big expansion is expected to be in Europe sometime this year.
With its focus on safety and reliability, Tesla is leading the way toward a future where driving is fully autonomous, and accidents are a thing of the past. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more impressive advances in the coming years, bringing us closer to a world where autonomous vehicles are a common sight on our roads.
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
Tesla's minimalistic interior design is both loved and hated. Much loathing is due to the lack of physical buttons drivers are so used to having at their fingertips to control heat, music and everything else in the cabin. The sleek look is attractive, but for some it can fall short in easy accessibility while driving.
That's where a new product comes into play: Ctrl-Bar. Created by Øyvind Husby of Oslo, Norway, Ctrl-Bar has nearly 300 backers on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo and has beat its target funding goal by more than 280 percent. The objective is to provide a tactile, programmable solution to Tesla's minimalistic interior design.
How It Works
Ctrl-Bar is a device that attaches securely to the bottom of the Model 3 and Model Y screen and offers a quick-access, tactile response that physical buttons can only achieve. The premium black glass finish blends seamlessly with the screen bezel, providing a smooth look. It connects to a smartphone using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and gets power from a hidden USB cable connected to the rear center console USB port. The app runs in the background, capturing only the data needed to run the services and prioritizing privacy. In addition, the Ctrl-Bar screen shows real-time changes, so there is no latency when changing temperatures or other functions. After less than a second, the device will send the command to your vehicle.
The Scrolls, Buttons and Extras
The Ctrl-Bar has two scroll wheels with tactile indents to control the cabin temperature, one for the driver and the passenger. In addition, four push buttons are in the middle of the wheels to provide easy access to programmable shortcuts, such as seat heaters, defrost mode, dog mode, and more. All changes made on the Ctrl-Bar are reflected on the center screen, offering a unified experience.
In addition to controlling essential functions, Ctrl-Bar also provides ambient LED lighting. The device has a series of powerful LEDs that illuminate the center console and front footwells. Users can scroll through assorted color and brightness options to find the perfect lighting for their drive. For an additional subscription, Ctrl-Bar offers speed trap warnings. The device checks for nearby fixed speed traps and visually alerts the driver when they are approaching. If the driver exceeds the speed limit, Ctrl-Bar will give an audible warning reminding them to slow down.
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
Creative Company with a Track Record
Greenmission, the company behind Ctrl-Bar, has successfully launched a premium wireless charger for the Tesla Model S/X. With trusted manufacturers and software developers on board, the main obstacles to getting Ctrl-Bar into the hands of Tesla owners are developing the phone app, establishing a reliable connection, avoiding supplier issues and delays, and managing costs. Despite these challenges, Greenmission is confident they can bring Ctrl-Bar to market and provide a much-needed solution to the lack of physical buttons in Tesla vehicles.
Ctrl-Bar is an interesting device that adds some physical buttons for owners who want or need them. It matches well with the interior of the vehicle and still provides a sleek look. However, it will require your phone to have a cellular connection to successfully send commands to the vehicle, since it relies on Tesla's APIs.
Tesla drivers are always looking for ways to improve their experience, and new features will be made available through Over-The-Air updates. Furthermore, users' feedback and suggestions will be considered and worked on in future updates.
TeslaFi is a service that logs your drives and charging sessions so that you can later refer back to them. We highly recommend checking them out if you use your car for business trips and would like to keep track of reimbursements, if you like to see how much you spend on charging or if you just love statistics. View their about us page and see everything they have to offer!